Thoreau With Some Great Advice for 2019

I came across this in an article not even remotely about Thoreau (but kind of about Thoreau), and it flattened me.

I see young men, my townsmen, whose misfortune it is to have inherited farms, houses, barns, cattle, and farming tools; for these are more easily acquired than got rid of. Better if they had been born in the open pasture and suckled by a wolf, that they might have seen with clearer eyes what field they were called to labor in. [Nieman Lab]

Having Great Warmth in Your Home

Guy Yocom of Golf Digest didn’t set out to write about homes or community or warmth, but one line in this fabulously-written piece about Johnny Miller stood out to me. It’s something I want to be said of me and my family and our home.

Johnny typically answered the door wearing jeans, a golf shirt and loafers with no socks. Once inside, his wife, Linda, frequently made tuna sandwiches. He always asked about my family. There is great warmth in his home. All kinds of amazing golf bric-a-brac littered his houses. I’d pick up a driver resting in the corner and he’d say, “That’s the one Arnold Palmer used in the 1975 Ryder Cup.” Or, “That sand wedge you’re holding, that’s the one Billy Casper used when he won the 1966 U.S. Open at Olympic.” He’d waggle them while he dispensed hot takes, homespun advice and unusual views on everything. [Golf Digest]

There is great warmth in his home. 

What a line. What a thing to aspire to.

Two Great By the Book Excerpts from Michelle Obama and Ben Sasse

I usually binge read By the Book articles by NYT when I come across one, and I always find either 1. Tasty little morsels in the idea department or 2. (at worst) 2-3 new book recommendations.

First, Obama on what she likes to read.

I love books that make me laugh every now and then. It’s something I hoped to do with my memoir, “Becoming,” because even if a book takes on serious topics, I think it should still be fun to read. [NYT]


Now Sasse on why every family should have their own canon of books.

So I want to be clear that I don’t think our “family canon” is the only canon for every American family, but I do strongly believe that every American family should be developing their own canon of books they read together and repeatedly — and moreover that we should be comparing our lists with those of our neighbors and fellow citizens, so that we might enrich one another. [NYT]